MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Who Needs Coors Field?! (April 9)

Tuesday has a robust 11-game featured slate with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo. Before we get to our MLB DFS picks, as always, we will use Stokastic’s tools to help in identifying today’s MLB DFS top stacks, key pitchers and MLB DFS picks. Look to Nathan Eovaldi and Aaron Civale as today’s aces, with a mix of hitters throughout the slate.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | April 9

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Nathan Eovaldi vs. Oakland Athletics — 3.8 implied runs

First Pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,800 | FanDuel $9,500 | Yahoo $48

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has RHP Nathan Eovaldi as the top option for today in his matchup against the struggling Oakland offense. While it feels like there have been a lot of meltdowns by aces or hurlers in good matchups — and there have been quite a few — that is no reason to stop picking on the weaker teams.

The Athletics did tally 11 runs in the final two games of their series in Detroit, but that does not reverse the trend of a paltry 19 runs combined in the first eight games of the season. Only Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox have scored less this year, and the Twins have played two fewer games.

Eovaldi was solid last season for Texas, making his second All-Star Game and helping the team bring home the World Series. Though he will have the occasional start where he is hittable, for the most part the 34-year-old veteran of 13 MLB campaigns remains a solid option. That includes seven seasons in the hitter-friendly ballparks of the American League East.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Aaron Civale at Los Angeles Angels — 4.2 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:38 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,900 | FanDuel $9,200 | Yahoo $44

The salary for RHP Aaron Civale is all over the place. On FanDuel, he is mostly relegated to being a late-slate option with his apex cap hit. DraftKings ($7,900) has him slotting in as an SP2 for all slates and formats, while on Yahoo he is appropriately priced at $44 for that scoring format.

In starts against the Rangers and Blue Jays, Civale threw basically identical stat lines of six innings, four hits and one solo round-tripper accounting for the lone run in each game. He also had a solid 14 strikeouts, and while those games were in pitching-friendly Tropicana Field, it looks like the Tampa Bay Rays may have found the next hurler they are able to pluck from another team and push into a successful starter with a few tweaks.

Los Angeles obviously misses Shohei Ohtani in the heart of the order, and while Mike Trout is still outstanding, he is older and doesn’t steal bases. Anthony Rendon is miscast as a leadoff hitter, but it is only a matter of time before he is hurt. So that leaves Taylor Ward and Brandon Drury as the other threats, though on most above-average teams, they would only be complementary pieces. Miguel Sano is in the league, and if he is in the Halos order, he is a prime candidate for three strikeouts by himself.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Los Angeles Dodgers at RHP Louie Varland — 5.0 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool has identified the Dodgers as a potential countermove to the Coors Field Extravaganza tonight, with Atlanta not too far behind. RHP Louie Varland was smacked in his first start by the Brewers in Milwaukee. The 26-year-old lasted only four innings, and while he did notch four strikeouts, he issued a pair of free passes, along with allowing six hits — including a home run.

Power is an issue for Varland, and it doesn’t matter if he is facing righties or lefties. The Dodgers boast a .194 ISO compiled by tonight’s projected lineup over the last year and change when facing right-handed pitchers, with offseason acquisition Shohei Ohtani leading the way with a .370 ISO. In an embarrassment of riches, he is batting between fellow MVPs Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, which is just ridiculous. Then there are All-Stars Will Smith at catcher, Teoscar Hernandez in the outfield and Max Muncy qualifying for a corner infield slot.

The bottom of the order is also showing pop, with James Outman and Taylor Trammell providing discounted differentiation and remaining viable from a synergistic perspective in wraparound stacks.

Late Slate Target: San Francisco Giants vs. RHP Josiah Gray — 4.9 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:45 p.m. ET

In a “baseball being baseball” moment, last night the Washington Nationals cruised to an 8-1 victory in San Francisco, pushing reigning National League Cy Young Award winner LHP Blake Snell to the showers after just three innings. That was only the second time this season that the Nats pitching staff held the opposing team to fewer than four runs scored.

This has been a rough go for RHP Josiah Gray, who lost all momentum from this spring and last year in his first two starts. In these appearances, he has been saddled with a 14.04 ERA while allowing 2.40 baserunners per inning. He also has allowed just shy of one extra-base hit per inning, with a pair of home runs and five doubles.

Look to Michael Conforto and Mike Yastrzemski as the primary plays across the main slate as one-offs or a pair. They can also be combined with Matt Chapman and Jorge Soler, who have excellent numbers in same-handed matchups. LaMonte Wade is a pinch-hit risk, but it is not like there are many tough southpaws in the Washington bullpen. Also, last night “rookie” Jung Hoo Lee had a pair of singles for his third career multi-hit game since leaving the KBO.

Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Tuesday often brings “dinger” boosts on various sports books for those looking to wager on home runs. While LHP Patrick Sandoval does a good job of limiting power, it is hard to overlook the profile of Yandy Diaz, who should be leading off for Tampa Bay. Diaz currently has +800 odds on his home run prop, and though that wager is only likely to succeed around 13% of the time, it is an above-average opportunity on FanDuel. OddsShopper shows this bet has +704 “true odds,” and the +800 line currently available at FanDuel provides a tremendous 12.0% expected return on investment (ROI).

Using OddsShopper to scan the entire marketplace, we can see that most books are in the +500 to +550 range, which means those are likely losing bets on a long-term time horizon. Be a savvy shopper!

In his last 155 plate appearances against southpaws, Diaz has a 67.0% hard-hit rate and a 15.2% barrel rate. Looking at past history, he has three hits in his 11 at-bats against Sandoval, and while he has just a double as his lone extra-base hit, he also has only one strikeout while walking twice. That is no precursor for success tonight, but this is still a strong wager for all of the underlying metrics.

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Final Thoughts for Tuesday, April 9 — MLB DFS Picks

The Midwest venues are the ones to watch today, with potential precipitation in Cincinnati and Cleveland. These games are on a sub-slate just prior to the featured slate, so they will not impact most tournaments.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock Show at 5 p.m. ET, brought to you by Sleeper – new users, use this link to receive a $500 first deposit match! Full details here.


Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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